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A dilapidated, one hundred year-old farmhouse on the plains outside Tulsa has been the home of the Weston family for generations, and Beverly Weston, the family patriarch, has long found refuge in alcohol. His termagant wife Violet takes pills, whatever pills she can lay hands on, and the two have little in common and have not really communicated for years. Bev, who once published a collection of poetry, now spends time quoting T. S. Eliot, and Eliot's line that "Life is very long..." serves as a motto for Bev in his life. Bev's Prologue sets the tone for the play, and when Act One begins, Bev has disappeared. The family has gathered to support each other while they await news on his whereabouts.

A dysfunctional family which represents just about every problem a family can have, the Westons who have gathered are the three daughters of Bev and Violet, along with Violet's sister Mattie Fay, her husband, and adult son. Barbara, at forty-six the eldest of the children, has arrived with her husband and precocious fourteen-year-old daughter. Ivy Weston, age forty-four, is unmarried, constantly resisting her mother's meddlesome probing and her cruel remarks about catching a man. Karen Weston, the youngest, at forty, has brought her fifty-year-old fiancé with her. In the course of the three hours or more of this play, the family, overwhelmed by the selfish mean-spiritedness Violet, reveals and/or deals with their self-destructive behavior on all levels--from addictions, unhappy marriages, and infidelity, to sadism, suicide, pedophilia, and even incest.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008, the play deals with modern sensibilities but is written in the old-fashioned tradition of O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, Miller's Death of a Salesman, and even Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Big, broad, and complex in its development of the family dynamics, the play maintains a surprising level of black humor, despite the level of misery within this family.

As the action reaches its climax, and the various characters must decide how they will deal with the rest of their lives, the audience sees that the decisions that are made are the only ones that can be made, given the nature of these particular people and their limitations. It would be a mistake to say that the problems are "resolved," but they are, at least, "settled" for the audience. An intense and powerful drama with enough humor to keep the action from overwhelming the audience, August: Osage County is a memorable addition to the tradition of Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams. Mary Whipple
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on 6 April 2010
This is a stunning play. One that goes back to the American dramatist roots. Think Whos afraid of Vaginia Woolf and the American chamber plays of the last century.
A traditional 3 act play about a large family coming home to support their mother in the disappearance of her husband. All the characters are flawed and have secrets. In the course of the next few days all the bad blood and family secrets are going to get aired out and the final mystery of what happened to the father is going to have consequences for them all. Characters are often on stage at the same time having conversations in different rooms giving the play a slightly farcical structure. The action and dialogue is very well managed are built up into scenes bubbling over with tension and surprises.

This is a huge leap up from Lett's previous plays. A modern epic of a play. One of the best plays in recent years because of the writing and not just the spectacle so its well worth reading. Hopefully the rights will become available and affordable because it would be a great play for small companies with a large cast to perform. Its good to see some strong female parts in theater.
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on 23 February 2014
A film with the same name has recently been released, featuring, among others, Meryl Streep. I saw an interview with her on YOUTUBE, in which she expressed her appreciation of the original play, but mentioned that it was very long and had to be cut to make the film.
I decided to buy the play, and as it can do "text to speech" Iistened to it in this way. It took a bit of getting used to, because each character is named before each speech, but after a while one gets used to it, and being a play it is obviously better to hear the dialogue than to read it.
It is a really gripping story and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can recommend it to anyone who is not shocked by bad language.
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on 28 July 2015
Brilliant play, and the book itself was as good as new. I read it in a breath and I am very pleased with this purchase!
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on 8 June 2013
It's not often I cannot put a book down, but this was so engrossing to me. I found myself able to identify with almost every character. I was especially struck by Mattie Fae and how she treated her son. Of course, near the end, we find out why this is.

The dynamic between the 3 sisters was also very interesting to me. Being 1 of 3 girls myself, I couldn't help but compare my sisters and me to the Weston's..

Superbly written by Tracy Letts.


.....cannot wait for the film!!!!!
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on 18 March 2015
I loved the play, it was great.
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on 13 December 2014
Expected a proper novel
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on 13 January 2016
Great play
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on 20 September 2014
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on 29 December 2013
The play was delivered in a not so fast fashion but the condition was great, with clear printing
and a fantastic play as well!
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